Friday, January 05, 2007

Psychic Investigators 6

Here's this week's spooky synopsis:

When psychic Angela McGee visited the scene of the crime she experienced strong visions of three men entering Mick's quarters via the fire escape, the attack, and three men fleeing the scene carrying a shoe box shaped object. Mick's spirit also told Angela that he knew one of his killers.

But do you think he could remember that damn name?

Leaving the hotel, Angela had a terrifying feeling. She knew the young man serving drinks behind the bar from her vision. The police were astounded by the accuracy of Angela's visions. They knew that the shoe box shaped object was the hotel safe which was stolen on the night of the murder. Angela's supernatural visions helped the police bring the brutal killer to justice.

Look! Finally! A psychic who helped the investigation. That makes a change for this series. Of course, the truth is a lot less stranger than fiction.

Being more recent than some other tales in this series, this particular murder is well served via the BBC and the West Midlands Police site.

Murder hunt after landlord's body found (28th April 2003): Mick Hughes' body was discovered in his bedroom at the Royal Oak Pub, on Norton Road, in Pelsall, Walsall just after 0900 BST on Sunday. Mr Hughes, a divorced father-of-five, had suffered a head injury. West Midlands Police believe it was a burglary which went wrong. Cash was stolen from a safe in the pub.

Divers search for murder clues (29th April 2003): A post-mortem examination has shown the divorced father-of-five died from head injuries following an attack - but no weapon has been found. Cash had been stolen from the pub's safe and West Midlands Police believe the incident was a burglary which went wrong. On Tuesday, a team of police divers from Nottingham began a search of the nearby Wyrley and Essington Canal for any clues. Police officers also resumed forensic examination of the pub, on Norton Road, and the car park there remains sealed off.

Van may hold clue in murder (30th April 2003): West Midlands Police are anxious to trace the driver of a small van seen parked in the pub car park by anglers, fishing in the area, at 0700 BST. The vehicle is described as about 10 years old, in average condition, with two solid back doors without windows. Detectives investigating the murder said Mr Hughes had closed the pub at 2300 BST on Saturday and had carried on entertaining four friends until 0200 BST on Sunday. A West Midlands Police spokesman said the pub had been broken into, several rooms searched and a safe, which may have contained a small amount of cash, was stolen.

Murder police seek teenagers (1st May 2003): Police are keen to trace two girls and one boy who they believe happened to be in the area at 0130 BST on Sunday, saw lights on in the pub and went inside to buy cigarettes and crisps. [...] Underwater searches of the nearby canal are due to resume on Friday and police said they were following up reports of possible sightings of the cream-coloured van seen parked in the pub car park at 0700 BST on Sunday morning.

Family appeal over publican's murder (16th May 2003): On Friday, two of Mr Hughes' daughters appeared at a news conference at Bloxwich Police Station and said the death of their father had devastated the family. [...] Mr Moore said there had been a "tremendous response" from local people in the area, including a businessman who has offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder.

Murder police confirm safe find (24th May 2003): Police investigating the murder of a pub landlord from the Black Country have confirmed a safe, taken from the pub, has been found in the Wyrley and Essington Canal in nearby Bloxwich.

Pub murder police seek carpenter (22nd July 2003): Detectives investigating the murder of a landlord in his Black Country pub are trying to trace a carpenter who fitted a safe at the property. West Midlands Police stressed that the man they wish to speak to is not a suspect, but could have vital information to help officers catch the killer of Michael Hughes.

Search results for "psychic" at the West Midlands Police website: no results.

Search results for "angela mcghee" at the BBC: no results.

The chronology presented on the television show was unnecessarily vague. It seems Ms McGhee attended the scene of the crime "within days" of the murder. That's as meaningless as the statement later that the trial took "three long weeks" (were they eight days long?). She saw such amazing things as "bodies struggling" and "blood" and "head injuries". This is not "psychic" information - it's all there in the BBC reports. The day after the crime. She also claims she saw three people running from the hotel and, indeed, three people were eventually convicted, but how can we know if this is what she claimed at the time?

She states she saw the deceased's spirit, who stated that the killer (not three, just one) was known to him, and he had drunk with him, and had fished with that person. We don't know if that was corroborated, since it's never mentioned again, but why, oh why, if he knew him so well, didn't he know his name?

Amazingly, Ms McGhee, as she was leaving the hotel, saw the culprit behind the bar (in actuality, not in visions and dreams) but not his face. Nonetheless, she knew he was the killer. What did she do? She "ran from the pub" and told nobody about it. Wow. That's impressive sleuthing. Of course, she's a psychic and this is a documentary, so there's absolutely no possibility that's she making it all up after the event.

"Months later" the police contacted her. She apparently provided much amazing information that only the police knew but there was no way she could have. Unless, EoR assumes, she had read the papers and watched the news. The police state "some" of the information she provided was accurate. So how much was inaccurate, and what was it's nature? Why are we only being told of claimed "hits"? Only providing matches and ignoring errors is a false and deceptive attempt to claim 100% accuracy. The police further state that her information was "of limited value". In fact (and EoR is getting tired of repeating this) her "information" added nothing to the course of solving the crime, arresting the suspects and obtaining a conviction.

Much is also made of Ms McGhee knowing about the recovery of the safe from a canal. She had rambled on about having visions of a dolphin. Only one hundred and fifty yards from the canal where the safe was eventually found was the Dolphin Pub! What actual relevance that had to the crime, why she couldn't have just said "near water", and what else existed in the fairly near vicinity, is never answered. Nor is the fact that this vision seems to occur months after the crime (remember, the police had not contacted her earlier), yet the BBC non-psychically reported the finding of the safe only a month after the murder. Before her vision.

Ms McGhee certainly seems to have some remarkable skills: self-promotion, and an ability to magically report the news well after the event.

She has a (poorly designed) website, the main purpose of which seems to be selling tickets to her theatre performances, in between promotion as a psychic Miss Marple and channelling Linda McCartney.

EoR feels that if you're going to bother making a fictional load of bollocks, you should at least make some pitiful attempt to make it slightly believable. The producers of this mush, however, obviously have a low opinion of their target audience (ABC Programmers and newagers?).

Meanwhile, not only are other people upset at the ABC's dumbing down of science, but it also appears that the ABC now utilises the services of astrologers to predict the outcome of sporting events. So why bother broadcasting the events? Just give us the psychic results and then we can all go out for a healthy walk. EoR expects that we will shortly be seeing numerologists delivering the weather forecast, and haruspicators picking through the entrails to report current affairs.

Coincidentally, this week's repeat of South Park on SBS was the psychic detectives episode (the one where Cartman claims to be psychic even though he hasn't filled in the coupon on the back of the comic book and paid the $25 fee to join the licensed psychics). Not only did it make a lot more sense than Psychic Investigators, but it was also funny.

Kyle: The plain simple truth is nobody is psychic, there's a logical explanation for every single psychic story you've ever heard.
Cop 1: Do you think that's true?
Cop 2: It must be true, the kid is psychic...

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